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Body scanner to make India debut at IGI
NEW DELHI, MAR 10 (AGENCIES)
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Published on 10 Mar. 2010 10:50 PM IST
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Passengers looking forward to flying out of IGI's upcoming terminal (T3) can expect more than just exposure to global standards, reports Times News Network. In a first for Indian airports, the government has decided to install the controversial body scanner on a trial basis. "The ministry is considering installing body scanners at IGI on a trial basis once the new terminal is commissioned," aviation minister Praful Patel told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The technology promises foolproof security checks by producing an image of a passenger's body for securitymen to check for hidden objects. Technology for body scan not yet finalized T3 is scheduled to be inaugurated in the first week of July and fully operational soon after that. Since body scanners have raised serious issues with many questioning the alleged breach of privacy and health impact of radiation, aviation minister Praful Patel added a word of caution. Patel said the government is yet to finalize the type of technology to be deployed as the proposal is still in initial stages. "Appropriate safeguards and certification for privacy and health issues will be incorporated," he said. After Delhi, Mumbai could be the next airport to get these scanners. Airport operators in India are themselves unsure about the privacy issues being generated by body scanners. Apart from that, they are also unsure of the health impact of the exposure of radiation to frequent fliers. "We have our reservations. But being a sensitive security issue, we would like the government to address all concerns sensitively. Our intelligence and security agencies have advocated deployment of body scanners at airports and we will do as told," said an airport operator on condition of anonymity. Some airports globally have started using this controversial scanning system and at present ask only suspicious passengers to go through them. If such passengers decline to be subjected to the scanner test, they are not allowed to board aircraft. London Heathrow, for instance, deployed body scanners soon after a Nigerian national managed to board a Detroit-bound aircraft from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport with explosives strapped on him last December. Schiphol has body scanners and France and Italy could also use this technique at their airports. The West has worked out an interim code for securitymen that mandates passengers will not be asked to pass through body scanners on the basis of gender, race or ethnic origin. India will now have to devise its own code of conduct.

 
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